Since the Broncos have a bye week coming up I thought I'd take a look and see what trends were taking place near the end of the regular season to see if we can comment on these changes and take a look at what effect they may have on the post-season.
As in past weeks this tidbits of statistics won't be indepth, rather they are just a cursory look at a few different metrics to see how they might explain a topic. Hope you enjoy.
Running Back Snaps:
This was a topic I didn't even notice until Moreno's third game after McGahee went down, but it's pretty important. When McGahee was the starter he played 58.5% of snaps, splitting the rest with Ronnie Hillman and Lance Ball (and the 2-4 for Chris Gronkowski). But since Moreno took over in week 12 he's actually taken a higher percentage of snaps than McGahee, 62.3% to be exact. He's also taken over 70% of the total snaps three times while McGahee only did that twice in more games.
This has a few implications, the biggest is fewer snaps for Ronnie Hillman, but that may be a moot point if he remains benched into the playoffs. Also the addition of Jacob Hester who now comes in on two back looks rather than C. Gronk or Lance Ball, means Moreno will likely continue to see more snaps per game than McGahee did.
Now this is likely tied to McGahee's age and desire to keep him fresh. McGahee would often come out of drives after 4-6 plays. Now this isn't bad, Hillman and Ball played well as the backups during that time, but with a much younger running back in Knowshon Moreno the need to switch the back in and out means it's easier for a running back to get into a rhythm.